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Kids raise voice for kids: Stop using children as fighters

Thousands of common people and schoolchildren left their handprints in red colour on clothes and papers with messages and signatures on M G Road on Thursday.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
February 6, 2009 12:39:58 am

About 50,000 red handprints collected from 20 states

Thousands of common people and schoolchildren left their handprints in red colour on clothes and papers with messages and signatures on M G Road on Thursday. This was a form of protest organised by ‘Terre des Hommes’,a child rights non-governmental organisation,against using children as soldiers by state and non-state armed groups.

Around 50,000 such red handprints have been collected from all over the nation from 20 states and will be submitted to the United Nations General Secretary on Red Hand Day of February 12,International Child Soldiers’ Commemoration Day.

“It is two decades since the world community recognised the rights of children to survival,protection,development and participation,through the United Nation Convention of the rights of the child. The use of children as soldiers is an instance of total violation of all these rights of children. ‘Red Hand campaign’ is an effort to bring together one million people to protest this gross violation of the rights of the child across the world,” said George Chira,Regional Coordinator,TDH said,in a press release.

Ingrid Mendeonca,member of Action for the rights of the child (ARC) said that on a rough estimate over 250,000 to 300,000 children and youngsters under 18 belong to state armies or non-state armed groups and girls are exploited as sex slaves. “Any instance of violation of the rights of children in any part of the world demands action from all of us who are committed to their rights. Moreover as world citizens it is our bounden duty vis a vis children’s rights,” she said.

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